Challenging Stereotypes

In honour of International Women’s Day, here are some of my hopes and dreams for Women for the future of liberated sex and relationships.

The sexual double standard be scrapped

No more shaming women with high sex drives, who are pretty or dress in a certain way. No more blaming women for sexual assault. No, it had nothing to do with what they were wearing!
No more shaming women for enthusiastically wanting sex.
No more calling women the ‘gatekeepers’ of sex and men the pursuers. These are cultural ideas and in reality some women think about sex often more than men do.
No more defining men as more ‘visual’ and ‘sexual’ than women and other gigantic claptrap myths. It’s both women and men’s big sex drives that made humanity evolve to where we are now, women didn’t evolve with no eyes!

Reclaim Your Own Pleasure

No more lying back and thinking it’s more important to look pretty during sex than experiencing pleasure.
No more thinking it’s important to endure things your partner wants sexually that you don’t enjoy.
No more expecting your partner to pleasure you before understanding how your body works and how to pleasure yourself.

More Agency and Equality in Relationships

Research into heterosexual couples shows us that women have more agency and equality in their relationships they have a better sex life, are happier in their relationships and have more improved communication.
Sharing more household chores leads to better sex and greater relationship satisfaction.
There are lower divorce rates when husbands take a bigger role in childcare, shopping and housework and more relationship stability when he can take on paternity leave.

Gender equality is good for sex and relationships!

Reclaim your dating life.
Men shouldn’t have to always make the first move. Women can make the first move!
Embrace the possibility of rejection! You don’t need to sit back and be passive and hope someone will come and talk to you!

Let go of sexual and gender stereotypes

So say you complain your man is too uncaring and aloof and you wish he’d be able to communicate verbally with you like your girlfriends do. Then say he gets sick and opens up to you and you can’t handle seeing him that vulnerable, helpless and emotional because unconsciously these are always traits you’ve seen as feminine and ‘weak.’
Or say you and your friends tease your male friend because you say he’s “pussy whipped” (another stupid term!) because he’s not always 100% in control and the ‘boss’ in his relationship. A relationship is about shared roles and responsibilities and looking out for your partner is nothing to do with being ‘whipped.’
These gender stereotypes about what a man or a woman should be can be very destructive for our relationships. A man is not always stoic, independent and unemotional anymore than a woman is always passive, submissive, emotional and sensitive. Such black and white stereotypical thinking can hinder your relationship.
Men can embrace their softer side and women can get in touch with their power and strength!

Cat O’Dowd
Sex Therapist – Relationship Counsellor – Art Therapist